New Mexico United soccer team continues to dream big and says a multipurpose soccer stadium in Albuquerque is still a possibility.
Last year the team had to play all of its games away from home due to state health restrictions, but as those restrictions ease, questions about where the team will play now are becoming more pressing. Reported attempts to rent Isotopes Park were unsuccessful, but the team is hoping to see construction begin on a new stadium.
The proposed 15,000-seat stadium would ideally be placed in downtown Albuquerque. The projected cost could be more than $75 million, but proponents say public funds won’t be carrying all the weight. It will be shared with private investors. The team has reportedly raised at least $5 million dollars for the project already but is still trying to secure the rest.
A recent poll conducted by Research and Polling, Inc. shows strong support for the project among city residents. The poll asked about 300 people if they would “support or oppose building a new multi-purpose arena that could be used for New Mexico United soccer games and other events in addition to soccer games.” It found that 63 percent of respondents were in favor of seeing a United stadium built in Albuquerque, and only 23 percent were opposed.
“We’re thrilled to see the overwhelming support for this project,” said New Mexico United owner and CEO Peter Trevisani. “I can’t think of a better catalyst for economic growth, and civic pride than this stadium. We owe it to the people—who overwhelmingly support this state-changing project—to make this plan a reality.”
Albuquerque Mayor Tim Keller has shown support for the project in the past, but a request for city funding of the project was notably missing from the mayor’s recommendations for the city’s 2021 G.O. Bond package. “Our focus is clearly the pandemic,” Keller told reporters, regarding the package. “And as you also know, our priority is still of course fighting crime. But we also know we’ve got to do things like plan for the future and invest in communities.”
The city is now asking legislators to put up $40 million to get the project off the ground. The team also wants to get a city bond question on the ballot in November.
Trevisani still believes the stadium can be built as long as the state and the city are willing to help supplement private investments in the project. He told reporters that he believes the stadium could bring in more money into New Mexico and help shore up the state’s economy in the wake of the pandemic.
The team owner says he’d like to start breaking ground for the stadium in 2022.
Last year the state gave the city $4 million to initiate a feasibility study for the project, but it has yet to release any results.